The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is concerned about impacts to tribal hunting rights if Washington State expands Dosewallips State Park by 1,300 acres, as recently proposed. Point No Point Treaty Council biologist Tim Cullinan explains tribal concerns in this article published by the Kitsap Sun recently. The Point No Point Treaty Council provides natural resources management services to its member tribes, the Jamestown S’Klallam and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes.

From the article:

Also involved in the discussion is Tim Cullinan, a biologist who studies elk management for the Point No Point Treaty Council.

The river corridor is some of the best habitat in the region for the Dosewallips elk herd, which currently numbers about 60 to 70 animals, Cullinan said. On the other hand, there is a concern that putting all the land into a state park would preclude tribal hunting, which is guaranteed by treaty.

“The exact same area proposed for long-term conservation is the exact area where the hunting is done at this point,” he said. “If it all went into state park status, that could eliminate most of the hunting opportunities.”

Cullinan said he would look for solutions that would maintain tribal hunting while increasing protections for fish and wildlife.